Deputies identify mother, son found murdered in Tampa apartment

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The mother and 10-year-old son who were fatally shot in their Tampa apartment were publicly identified Tuesday morning.

Hillsborough County deputies said 34-year-old Stephanie Ann Willis and her son, Ricky, were murdered Sunday night. The suspect, 42-year-old Tyrone Johnson, was arrested. Officials said Stephanie was his live-in girlfriend and Ricky was not his biological son.

Before 7 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to 4302 Mariners Cove Court and found the mother and son inside the apartment unit. Johnson called 911 claiming he was being attacked. The murders occurred after an argument when Johnson changed a television station to watch a football game, according to court documents.

Deputies said Johnson claimed Stephanie pushed him off his knee roller, which he uses due to a foot injury during his time in the military. He said was on the ground when he fatally shot the victims in the master bedroom, according to his arrest affidavit.

However, deputies said they found evidence of gunfire and blood inside Ricky’s room.

A vigil was held in memory of the victims Monday night, where neighbors said the tragedy was exceptionally difficult for the children who played with Ricky. A group of participants were heard chanting, “No more fighting, walk away.”